Sometimes, outsourcing gets a bad rap. There are many misconceptions about it that can be harmful if taken too far. You could be hurting your business and even sentencing it to death if you block out this valuable tool without proper consideration. Here are a couple of reasons why many will not consider outsourcing:
- They believe it is an act of national disloyalty. Hiring someone outside of your national boundary is not an act of disloyalty. It might be the ultimate act of loyalty to your customer if the more qualified and better service provider is elsewhere. Besides, outsourcing does not necessitate going outside of national boundaries. It is just a matter of utilizing talent outside of your company.
- They believe that outsourcing entails lower quality. Again, this could not be further from the truth. Your company does not possess all of the expertise on anything. You can provide your customer with the best quality available in your company. Or you can provide them with the best available quality in the world. For the latter, you have to expand your reach.
It is also important to realize that outsourcing is not always customer-facing. Sometimes, it is just about finding a better way of running your business. It is a tool, not a religion. Here are some of the ways the tool could be valuable to your business:
You might not have to outsource all the major pieces of your company. You might not even have to outsource whole departments. You could get away with outsourcing team members. Perhaps you have a project that requires a 5-person team and you only have 2 people on your roster that are qualified. You don’t have to shut down the project. You can outsource that limited expertise.
Once you do that outsourcing, you have to know how to manage outsourced team members. It is largely a matter of understanding the unique challenges inherent in such a team. There are obvious challenges such as finding a good time for people scattered over several time zones. Then, there are the less obvious challenges such as cultural considerations. Do you start on the dot as required by some cultures, or start fashionably late as required by others? What kind of small talk is appropriate? Do you ask about personal matters like family? Or do you keep it strictly business? These are relatively small issues that can be worked out. The bigger issue is making the decision to outsource when you don’t have the personnel you need.
There are good reasons why outsourcing your SEO makes sense. One of the best reasons is that within your company, you don’t have anyone with the skills required to get the most out of it. Many large businesses don’t carry their own SEO specialist in-house. But they certainly utilize the services of those specialists.
There are many reasons why China is the world’s factory. It is far too reductionist to say it is because of cheap labour. The ecosystem has been built up over decades. Regardless of wage, companies like Apple couldn’t produce their products at scale in the US. We don’t have the skilled labour and suppliers for the task. If you don’t have the skilled labour you need for the job, outsourcing is a viable option.
As it happens, cost reduction is not a 4-letter word. It is often the difference between shutting down the business and finding a solution that keeps you going. A new CEO will often come in and lay off entire sectors of the company so they can get a better golden parachute. By using limited outsourcing to reduce costs, you will be able to keep most of your workforce and continue to support the families that depend on your company staying in business.
On the one hand, outsourcing can be a difficult decision because there are so many factors and so much disinformation to unravel. On the other hand, it is the easiest thing in the world once you have a firm grasp of what it is and what it isn’t. Is outsourcing right for you? It is if you need to utilize outside help to fill in a team, if your company is lacking a necessary skill, and if it can save your business and keep your workers employed.
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